The End of Economics?

slavery taxThere is a morbid fascination in watching the slow collapse of ‘the economy’ going on around us. The old guard cling even more tightly to their fictions of ‘growth at any cost’ and many people are still deeply embedded in the world of money.

The mouthpieces of the system – our media – continue to impose the status quo, and tell us that the system we have is the only way to do things and we must soldier on. But it becomes clearer that global financial collapse is just around the corner and our many years in denial will make it all the harder because we are not prepared

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution consumer capitalism has journeyed on a path of stupidity and futility, based on the belief that we can forever use our capital assets, the earth itself, as a form of income. We are presently using up the resources of this planet as if we had five to spend.

It is clear too that government, utterly resistant to change, will be the last to see this, as their entire reason for existence is built around servicing ‘the economy’, the monstrous lie, the massive elephant in the room that we ignore at our peril.

So if the embodied blindness of our system and its leaders is just about to drop us all in it, what’s to do?

As individuals and collectives we need to secure our access to the basics of survival like food, shelter, warmth, which is quite enough of a challenge in itself once you separate these from ‘the economy’.

Those of us who see the tsunami on the way are already attempting to rebuild ‘community’ in such a way as to support each other, many under the guise of ‘Transition’. This is usually without any recognition by the local forces of Government, like parish or town councils, who mostly still exist to service the machine rather than its people.

But oppressive new laws brought in by successive Governments which seem to limit our choices to live, eat and adapt to new situations as we might choose have an unexpected side effect; they encourage mutuality. People are quietly turning to each other for mutual self-reliance.

Newton’s ‘Laws of Motion’ state that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This law governing classical mechanics might well be applied to social systems. As governments increasingly seek to impose their will on people and turn them into fodder for a dying system – there is more to be gained in mutuality, working for and with each other – than for ‘the system’.

The Government are being very careful about who they ‘target’ for the next stealth tax to hold up the Treasury. Rather than applying blanket taxes on us all, like ‘Poll Tax’, they target minority groups, outside the ‘norm’, with no internal cohesion – taking legal rights from absent fathers, benefits from single mothers, pensions from pensioners, human rights from travellers and so on. Easy targets who are unlikely to collectively rebel due to no group identity or cohesion. Often they will work hand-in-hand with mass media to ‘demonise’ a group before applying stealth taxation.

So if you are working all the hours you have to pay childcare costs, or if you are in energy poverty because it is so expensive to buy fuel, of you can’t afford to buy food – look around for people in the same situation – there are mutual solutions to these problems that take you outside of reliance on a system that is essentially broken beyond repair.

It worries me how few people seem to question that it seems ‘normal’ to get dressed for work in the mornings and drive through polluting traffic to work at a job you don’t really like to pay for the car and the clothes and the house you leave empty all day so you can afford to live in it.

At some point ‘collective action’ will reach a ‘hundredth monkey’ stage and it will beome the norm to turn back to your neighbours and communities. Henry Cloud wrote: “We change our behaviour when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change”.

This quote identifies one of the problems with our consumer capitalistist ways – that there appears to be a 30 year delay on facing the consequences of our actions in ‘using up’ the planet as if it were just there for our convenience. But as the results of our malicious ways make themselves more and more evident, I believe there is great opportunity for positive change.

I say good riddance to a system that abuses and pollutes the very earth we stand on, the air we breathe and the water we drink. I say goodbye to the myth that slavery ended hundreds of years ago when in fact our present ‘economy’ still makes slaves of us all.

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